Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Sea of Love

The Sea of Cortez stole our hearts.

After two weeks of preparing the Buena Vida  for another  cruising season, we overcame the gravitational pull of the marina complete with electricity, cell reception, wifi, access to groceries and restaurants, and sailed up the Sea for our shake down cruise.
It is a strange sensation that overcomes many of us cruisers and causes some fear about going into a marina, it is hard to leave.  We get lulled into complacency about the weather, electrical use and water supply.  One can just step off the boat if there are no tomatoes or the trash can is full.  But once out of the orbit of the marina the pace of life settles into a beautiful rhythm worth mourning the loss of wifi.

Our first sail to Isla Partida was a lively romp in 15-20 knot winds with a bit of chop.
We tacked out and back a couple of times to take advantage of the fun wind and remind ourselves how to handle the lines.  Cruisers hardly ever tack or hand steer so this was a fun and playful start to season two.  The Buena Vida was healed over romping along like a horse out of the gate!  She sailed beautifully and we were super stoked cruising along at 6 knots in swim suits.  (Stop what ever you are doing and bring your boat to Mexico - This is just to good to miss!)

  " Kilo Kilo 6 Alpha Mike India"  aka Jeff since he passed his
Technician and General Ham Radio License exam.
So proud!
The stunning colors of Ensenada Grande, the rock walls and the pale blue water was spectacular.  We passed the time snorkeling, hiking, snorkeling, reading, snorkeling and gathering with other cruisers for group dinners.
I lost my battery charger for my underwater camera and missed out on the best photo opps of our Sea of Cortez snorkel trips.  Gin clear water with 40- 50 foot visibility.
Tons on diverse fish life, I saw a big green eel swimming freely around the rocks, we saw a gorgeous octopus moving along the rocks changing color and texture with every move as we hovered, mesmerized.  Jeff saw a young turtle resting on the sandy bottom.  Our snorkeling in Ensenada Grande was far superior to our Dive trip the week before and it always feels good to swim freely with out all that gear.

Once in a life time opportunity to see the Baja so green.
After four years of sever drought the Baja Peninsula received record rainfall this summer as well as a visit from Hurricane Paul so every plant that has been laying dormant is now alive and in bloom.  People tell us this is a once in 20 year kind of event and to enjoy it while it lasts so... we are.

The red cliffs of the mountains are now scattered with lush green plant life, magenta, blue and yellow flowers and delicate yellow butterfly’s.  With all the extra water this last year there are also lots of little bugs.  Nasty little Bobitos fly in your face and hover around your nose and eyes.  In response, a new feature to the SSB nets are a bug report.  In the morning we listen to Sonrisa Net for weather, to hear the location of other boats, the conditions where they are anchored and this year, a bug report.
Thanks to the information from other cruisers were were able to pick anchorages with as few bugs as possible but on occasion we were swarmed too!

 Julie protecting herself as we sailed by an island and were swarmed with Bobitos.  
Got to take the bad with the good.

Spectacular hike up the canyon on Isla Partida.

Do you see the crab in the upper right corner?

No trail, rock scramble.

Buena Vida laying contently in Ensenada Grande

We connected with our friends Bob and Sheri aboard S/V Nirvana and S/V Eagles Tom an Jeanie via SSB and sailed over to San Everisto to meet up.  After a couple of nights in Evaristo we all traveled back to Ensenada Grande and spent a few more nights there.  We couldn't get enough.  

Good Morning Sunrise and Moonsettting at 6:00am, San Evaristo

Now we are all back in Marina Palmera each of us dealing with various and sundry issues with our floating homes.  We had a coolant leak so Jeff was able to fix that out at the anchorage, one of the boats received some bad fuel up in the sea and need to deal with polishing the fuel and cleaning their fuel tank.  We do not hear about that happening very often but it only takes once to really  screw things up for someone.
It probably is related to shortages that are taking place up in the Sea of Cortez as a result of Hurricane Paul.  Many roads were washed out and supplies are short up in the Sea.  Cruisers report fuel shortages, folks without water makers were struggling to find water and the likes.  So as the fuel was running low at the station up in Puerto Escondido our friends must have gotten the dredges along with all the debris.  Bummer.

We have loved our time in the Sea of Cortez so much we actually considered staying here all winter, but we know it will get too cold for us.  Since one of our cruising goals is to avoid being cold, off we go heading south in a few days.  We will likely be at passage crossing the Sea of Cortez on Thanksgiving day, I am a bit sad about that.  I always miss our family on the holidays and the next best way to celebrate is with our fellow cruisers but, we are waiting for just the right sailing weather so that is how it will be.

Happy Thanksgiving and Hasta Pronto


  1. Hi

    Seeing where you are going!! Great place to see the sun, etc. See you when we are down in Jan in Maz.

    Happy Thanksgiving (belated)
    Fair Winds
    Anne and Dick
    Full & By

  2. Ola mes amigos,
    We are suffering from sun withdrawal. I'm sure you've been having a good time at El Cid...have a margarita or two for us! Adjusting to wet and cold here...not. We had a wonderful trip down to the boat in Oct and it will be not long now before we will be back on "Full & By" and heading south.
    Looking forward to catching up with you... in the meantime we will read you blog with envy
    Hasta Pronto
    Anne & Dick